Three Ways to Use Glycerin for Healthy, Glowing Black Skin and Hair
The base ingredient for many of your favorite beauty products also works wonders on its own.
Moisture is a key factor in the health of our skin and hair, but choosing products and ingredients that are effective in creating the right level of hydration can be challenging. A key point to keep in mind when shopping is that some help your skin and hair absorb or retain optimal levels of moisture, while others simply sit on the surface and create a glossy finish. Glycerin, an ingredient found in many of the cleansers, conditioners, serums and creams you already use, is also available on its own and can be an asset to both your skin and hair care routines. Derived from synthetic sources, the fat of animals, or the oils of plants such as corn, coconut, or shea nuts, glycerin is a colorless, odorless liquid with high humectant power. Basically, it attracts moisture from the air and helps it penetrate the outer layers of the skin and hair and then helps it be absorbed into deeper layers thanks to its small molecules. Plus it’s non-comedogenic, so it doesn’t clog pores. Vegetable glycerin—rather than synthetic or animal-based—is typically the preferred version for use in your self-care rotation. Here are a few ways it can enhance that melanated glow or give your curls a boost.
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Numerous factors can cause dryness and dullness. Arid air, whether from low humidity outside or air conditioning and heating systems inside, tends to have an adverse effect on our hair and skin. Pillowcases, hats and scarves made from cotton or other fibers can also create damaging dryness in our hair. Glycerin supports the barriers of the hair and skin, which helps to prevent the loss of water and promote continued nourishment from any natural oils present. Applying a small amount to affected areas helps to shield them from further irritation or dryness. You can also apply it to soften calluses.
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After showering, bathing or washing your hair, you likely apply some type of oil or lotion after drying. Applying a light oil while the skin or hair is still damp and then adding a layer of vegetable glycerin can help achieve all-day softness. If possible, let your skin air dry. Also, remember that a little goes a long way, and using too much may leave you feeling sticky.
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Sometimes we need a way to quickly refresh our face and/or hair as we head from the office to an outing or after traveling. One of the simplest solutions is quick application of glycerin and a water-soluble oil. Combinations of rose water or orange water and glycerin are popular for their ability to provide a pleasant scent while they bring the brilliance back to skin and the bounce back to curls. You can pour it sparingly into your hands and gently massage into the desired area or use a small spray bottle to make things even easier.
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